The Approaching Autonomous Future

Attitudes towards transportation have transformed toward additional choices; ride hailing, car sharing, and self-driving vehicles are undertaking a huge surge in demand. With the customer taking only part of the equation, automakers will be following suit. Competencies are likely to be focused on greater profits per mile or per trip, and monetizing time consumers might spend in vehicles.

Despite innovative thinking, the technology makes up only part of the new terrain – how soon and for how much? The concerns regarding regulation play major stakes within the industry; countries in the past have had issues with less innovative concepts, as can be seen with recent controversies regarding Uber. Passing through the regulation implemented in different areas in the (developed) world could prove itself as a taxing task for the industry. Various potential vehicle types with varying purposes would face different regulations. An autonomous taxi, interstate truck, and private vehicle require separate evaluations as goods (passengers vs inventory), ownership (private vs fleet), location (highway vs urban and highway).

Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors argues, “the timeline for the implementation of autonomous vehicles is a rather tricky affair. The level of autonomy is often disregarded when discussing an implementation of AVs by 2020. Full autonomy will take foreseeably longer to implement into society from a technological and consumer standpoint, as customers have to be ready for a change.”

Cross-industry dependence plays another major role. Infrastructure, data technology establishes the framework for smart traffic capabilities. From high and reliable data for emerging hazards and traffic efficiency to the accessibility of electric-vehicle charging areas, convergence is of vital importance in the future of the industry.